Published: 17 May 2019
1. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) conducted a survey between July and October 2018 to study Singapore residents’ perception of the drug situation in Singapore, and their support for Singapore’s anti-drug policies. The survey involved face-to-face interviews with 2,000 Singapore residents aged 13 and above.
Strong Support for Singapore’s Tough Stance against Drugs
2. Public support for Singapore’s anti-drug policies is very strong. Close to 98 per cent of respondents agreed that Singapore should continue to maintain tough laws against drugs, and that drug consumption should remain illegal. About 90 per cent felt that Singapore’s drug laws were effective in keeping the country relatively drug-free. Around 93 per cent agreed that Singapore’s drug-free environment made them feel safe. Over 97 per cent acknowledged the harms of drugs on the abuser, his family, and the society.
Strong Support for Existing Punishments against Drug Trafficking
3. There is strong support for the punishments we impose on drug traffickers. Respondents endorsed imprisonment (93 per cent) and caning (about 80 per cent) as appropriate punishments for drug trafficking offences. About 70 per cent agreed with the imposition of the death penalty as an appropriate punishment for trafficking a large amount of drugs.
Strong Support for Mandatory Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers
4. Support for mandatory rehabilitation of drug abusers is very strong. Over 97 per cent of respondents agreed that drug abusers should undergo rehabilitation, and close to 96 per cent said the Government should mandate rehabilitation for drug abusers.
Strong Support against Legalisation of Cannabis
5. There is strong support against the legalisation of cannabis. About 87 per cent of respondents agreed that cannabis abuse should remain illegal in Singapore. Around 82 per cent acknowledged that cannabis is addictive
Youths Displayed More Liberal Attitudes Towards Drugs
6. Youth respondents (13-30 years old) generally hold a more liberal view on drugs, particularly cannabis. While close to 90 per cent of those above the age of 30 agreed that cannabis abuse should remain illegal in Singapore, about 80 per cent of youths held this view. Similarly, about 84 per cent of those above the age of 30 perceived the consumption of cannabis to be harmful, as compared to around 68 per cent of youths.
7. Overall, there is very strong public support for Singapore’s anti-drug policies. Our comprehensive and sustained approach to tackling both the demand and supply of drugs has allowed Singapore to remain relatively drug-free. We will continue to work closely with our partners to fight the scourge of drugs through preventive education, tough laws and effective enforcement.
8. A summary of the survey’s key findings is at ANNEX.
“There is very strong domestic support for our zero tolerance approach towards drugs, which has been the reason behind the positive and improving state of our drug situation. However, there is an increasing push internationally for drugliberalisation, driven also by commercial interests. The stakes are high. If we let up, there are consequences for the safety and health of our people, our children and future generations. We must persevere with our tough laws and enforcement, even as we seek to educate Singaporeans on the harms of drugs and rehabilitate addicts.”
-MrKShanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law